I know this is the biggest understatement of the century, but toddlers are exhausting. Especially when there are two of them. Having infants was tiring, but this is a whole different kind of tiring.
I miss the twins when I'm at work all week and I always look forward to actually getting to hang out with them on the weekends. But then the weekend comes and all I want to do is... well... nothing. And doing nothing is not exactly one of their favorite pastimes, believe it or not.
So with that being the case, we had a weekend full of the opposite of nothing. There was time at the playground, there were meals out, there were meals in, there was running around the house and acting like wild banshees, there was church, there was a visit to one of the local pre-Halloween carnivals, and thankfully for me, there were two child-free escapes with Allison.
(Allison and I would like to apologize in advance, by the way, for having close-to-identical blogs from this point forward. Sorry, but not that sorry.)
So yes, it was a full weekend, but perhaps the most important thing to note is that we successfully executed a Pinterest-inspired craft! The twins' daycare is creating its own pumpkin patch out of pumpkins that are decorated by all of the students, and while an activity involving two 18-month-olds and knives sounded like a blast, we opted for painting rather than carving.
Behold, our Pinterest success story:
Step 1: Place tape on pumpkin and trace letter.
Step 2: Cut letter out and remove remaining tape.
Step 3: Let children fingerpaint on/around the taped letter.
Step 4: Remove tape while paint is still relatively wet.
And there you have it!
For the record, much to no one's surprise, Brian was the more "fun" fingerpainting supervisor and I was the one getting worked up about the paints mixing and about Colby trying to paint everything besides the actual pumpkin. Thankfully for this OCD mama, this was a very quick craft project :)
Let me go ahead and get the excuses out of the way by stating that it has been a very busy week! I had a lot going on at work and my mom was in town visiting, so all of my evenings (aka: blogging time) have been occupied.
Relatedly (not that this is an excuse but more so a declaration of my lack of self-control), I have been majorly stuffing my face this week. Tortilla chips, cookies, Halloween candy, you name it. So maybe for Halloween, I will be a diabetic. That should impress all of the neighborhood trick-or-treaters, right?
All I really have to share with you is an introduction to a major source of entertainment in our house as of late: Bitty Baby. Bitty Baby is the baby version of an American Girl doll and my mom got Clara one for Christmas last year. (Um, how did I not know that they sell Bitty Twins?!) (And, um, how annoying is the word "bitty?")
The twins had generally not taken notice of the doll for the past 18 months (although you can see Brian using it here to lure Colby to crawl for the first time), but recently discovered her in the toy box. Clara is sweet with her, occasionally giving her a kiss and giving her a pacifier, but loses interest in her quickly.
And as for Colby's initial reaction? Well let's take a look:
I know, we are awesome and compassionate parents, right? This type of interaction went on for a day or two, and then gradually he started treating it as a game where he'd want us to chase him with the baby and he'd laugh and give her a hug. And then before we knew it, a friendship had blossomed...
Now as soon as he wakes up, he sleepily asks, "Bay-bee?" and requests her presence periodically throughout the day. Don't get me wrong- this guy still very passionately loves his "guh-guhs" (dump trucks) and "beep-beeps" (cars), but I can appreciate that he's staying in touch with his sensitive side ;)
Any unexpected toys become favorites at your house?
I'm going to be honest: this weekend was not perfect. In fact, many parts of it were pretty darn irritating and I lost my temper with my husband, my children, and several inanimate objects more times than I can remember. But thankfully, even this glass-mostly-empty kind of gal can admit that even the most imperfect weekends have enjoyable moments sandwiched in between the moments when you want to run away from home.
(And in case any of you are fretting that anything major went legitimately wrong, the answer would be no. But some of us get really bent out of shape when things don't go according to plan, and simple things like uncooperative weather, whiny children, and inexplicable 5:45 am toddler wake-ups can easily ruin a day or two.)
The pumpkin patch was hot and there was no shade and it was humid and the pumpkin set-ups were not photo-worthy and the children were acting like wild banshees, BUT we made the most of it and hit up the local pumpkin display at HEB to get some pictures. Yes, we took our requisite pumpkin pictures at a grocery store. And we didn't even buy any after we were finished. But when your sister has a fancy pants camera and the main subjects are as cute as these, the setting doesn't really matter, now does it?
I know, seriously, right?
You wouldn't know it from these pictures, but genetically, these kids are half siblings!
Nope, he is not, in fact, cross-eyed.
Oh, how I miss the days when a fake sneeze was all it took to get these two to smile on command.
I was generally in a foul mood for the rest of the morning and already very exhausted from Clara's early morning antics, BUT we did get in a walk to the Shipley's nearby and the twins were really pumped about their donut holes. And Clara was so tired that she couldn't seem to find the motivation to finish chewing up and swallowing this one.
The Aggies were beaten to a pulp, therefore putting my husband in a very lousy mood, and I was fairly certain I was going to voluntarily ask CPS to come pick up my children just to relieve me from the responsibility of parenting, BUT because we were losing so terribly, Brian didn't mind getting out of the house, which meant we got to enjoy a Mexican food outing to Lopez with the Cruikshanks.
We were running behind before church on Sunday morning and I was snapping at everyone and insisted we didn't have time to stop to get Brian coffee even though we really did, BUT I really enjoyed the service and we got to eat pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.
The twins took a decent nap, we spent some time playing at the Olivers' house, we visited the pet store, we checked out a new (to us) playground, and ate dinner at Smashburger for a total of less than $15, so I would say Sunday afternoon/evening was a win!
And now it's Monday, and no matter how the weekend went, I know I'll be sad when I head into work this morning and my crazy little family and I all head our separate ways.
So did y'all hear that my twin sister moved less than a mile away from me? Probably not, because I'm sure I haven't mentioned it much. But despite my silence on the subject (ha, as if I'm silent on any subject), I'm pretty pumped about it. SO pumped that I took a vacation day on Tuesday to hang out with her and her kiddos and help them get settled.
I don't know how much help I actually was, but I enjoyed getting to take a day off of work and have a glimpse into what life is like as a SAHM. I even got a cake pop along with Davis when Allison made her daily completely sporadic Starbucks run.
From my limited stint as a stay-at-home-aunt, I can attest to the following:
1. It was a very long day.
2. It was an exhausting day.
3. According to FitBit, I took a lot more steps than I do on normal weekdays (like 4,500 more).
4. I found myself wanting to sit around and eat, both out of boredom at some points ("Curious George" episodes are ok the first time around, but get old quickly thereafter) and as a response to stressful situations at other points. I guess #3 balances this one out and prevents SAHMs from weighing 500 pounds?
Props to you, SAHMs, for enduring the hardest (albeit the most rewarding) job there is, day in and day out. And props to you for staying sane, because I know it can't be easy. But hanging out with kids this cute sure must help ;)
- I really, really, really love not having to set my alarm clock on the weekends. I also really, really, really love when my only weekend plans include helping my twin sister + family move into town because it means I don't have to fix my hair, wear makeup, or shower regularly.
- And on that note, the Olivers have made the big move and and I still can't believe it's real!
- I now talk to my dogs the same way I talk to my children. "No, no, Buster- we don't jump on the back door," doesn't really seem to have the desired effect. Maybe if I tried the reverse (speaking to the children like I normally do to the dogs), it would result in all 4 of them actually listening to me?
- Relatedly, I've noticed that my dogs and my children have more or less the same reaction when they hear one of us opening a bag of food. And that reaction is very loud and irritating.
- I'm pretty sure you'll find about as many Texans jerseys at our church on Sunday mornings as you will at an actual Texans game. There are many things I love about going to a contemporary church, but I can't say that's one of them. I know, super judgmental of me, but to be fair, I'm not a big fan of wearing jerseys outside of attending/watching sporting events in general.
- Allison got me hooked on eating hummus and swiss cheese sandwiches for lunch, and I just have to say that I feel cheated when the piece of swiss cheese I use has more holes in it than usual.
- Based on the twins' 18-month check-up on Friday, it appears that Clara is taller than Colby- she's actually in the 72nd percentile for height and he's only in the 25th percentile!
- … but Colby is still outweighing her, by a whopping 6 ounces. (23 pounds, 4 ounces for him and 22 pounds, 14 ounces for her).
- During the appointment, the pediatrician noticed a couple of mosquito bites on Clara and for some reason, she didn't seem all that amused when I commented, "We're trying our best to contract West Nile."
- My dad has a birthday today, so please join me in wishing Dad/Steve/Pop Pop a very happy 64th birthday!
In case you didn't get enough pictures of my offspring in Monday's post, I'm back with more! This past weekend was relatively plan-free and the humidity was below one billion percent for a change, so like everyone else in this general region, we took advantage.
On Saturday, Clara sported her newest owl attire (courtesy of Mimi), and somehow aged 10 years in the process. She seriously looks like a pre-teen to me in these pictures!
If looks could kill…
This is the one that kills me. She does not look like my 18-month-old baby here!
Coveting her brother's new dump truck (which has been upgraded this week from "duh duh" to "guh guh," for the record)
After the impromptu photo shoot, we knocked out an entry in the baby book and got Colby's first haircut. We thought about going to Snip-its (requisite children's hair salon that resembles Chuck E Cheese's), but they weren't all that friendly on the phone and I wasn't interested in dealing with a wait.
We lucked out at the local Super Cuts and were able to get in and out in under 15 minutes. Here's a before shot so you can see why he was very much in need of a trim (lest he risk sporting a baby mullet):
We put him in the chair and this is the look we received in return for committing such betrayal...
And then the tears started...
Notice the tear drops on his smock?
And finally it was finished! He suffered from mild PTSD for a few minutes, but nothing a few Cheerios and a trip to Costco couldn't fix:
After naps and errands, we made a quick visit to my grandparents, who happen to live right next to a creek and have lots of duck traffic in their backyard, much to Colby and Clara's amusement.
We finished up the evening with dinner outside in our backyard. The twins stayed in their seats for all of 3 minutes before they started banging their spoons on trees, playing with the dogs' food bowls, and generally ignoring our instructions.
On Sunday, we also subjected them to a photo shoot with our front porch pumpkins before church, for which neither of them really cooperated, but that won't stop me from sharing our attempts.
Someone thought his pumpkin was a ball and kept launching it onto he sidewalk.
Ready… set… throw!
My favorite thing about this pic is that the jack-o-lantern's face matches Clara's!
Brian and his dad spent the afternoon building us a breakfast table (!!!), so we busted out our newly acquired water table for the twins' entertainment.
And because it was their half birthday, we finished up the weekend with dinner and (half) cupcakes for the littles. And yes, we most definitely sang "Happy Half Birthday" and put 2 candles in the cupcake.
Picture overload complete. Thanks for indulging me. Looking forward to this coming weekend which will likely include very few photo opps, but WHO CARES because the Olivers are moving into town!!
As promised, I busted out the real camera to take pictures last weekend in honor of the twins' 18-month birthday yesterday. They just so happened to be sporting their game day attire for most of the pictures, so allow me to state, for the record, that if I were arranging a legitimate photo shoot for the twins, I would not have dressed them in sports fan gear.
I'll share a few words and a lot of pictures. Feel free to skip past the words, but I would not recommend skipping the pictures, unless you don't like looking at pictures of cute toddlers.
Colby's current nicknames: Guy Man or simply "Guy"
Not sure how big or tall he is at the moment, but I'll be sure to update you after their 18-month check-up on Friday.
- When it comes to eating, this guy is a machine. He will regularly eat everything on his own plate and a fair amount of whatever is on Clara's plate (once she starts flinging it on the floor and we take it away from her).
- He seems to have hopped on board the one-nap-a-day thing, although we can still hear him squealing and playing for the first 30-45 minutes after we put them down.
- He loves stuffed animals and before naps/bedtime, he will hand each one in his crib to us to hug and give back to him before we finish tucking him in. And similarly, when he's playing, he'll grab one (usually "Rojo" the red bear - I know, we're so diverse), hug it, and then bring it to one of us to hug.
- He loves dump trucks ("duh duhs"), and refers to most moving vehicles as such. Brian's mom got him a new one this weekend and he was pretty pumped, as you can tell.
- And speaking of hugging, he is a lovable little guy and usually much more willing to show affection than his sister. He does, however, often go into guy mode where he ignores us completely and refuses to comply with our requests for hugs.
- He continues to be very easygoing (again, would NOT have guessed this during the first 3 months of his life), and very few things ruffle his feathers.
- The list of things that do ruffle his feathers: being dropped off at the church nursery, being around new people, having to share a toy he really likes, running out of/waiting on food, being put in his car seat when he's in the middle of something fun
- He's very into books right now, whether that be "reading" them or pulling every single one off the shelf and making a giant mess. The two books he grabs the most often are his book about dump trucks and "Goodnight Aggieland."
- He is such a little boy, and I think that's even more pronounced since he's constantly being compared to his sister. And speaking of the little princess...
Clara's current nicknames: Littlest, Little, Messy Misses, Crazy Pants
- This smiley little thing continues to be a handful and a half. She's a drama mama and has truly perfected the art of tantrum-throwing and melting down.
- She is in the middle of a (seemingly permanent) mommy phase, which means she is clinging to me (literally and figuratively) about 95% of the time that we're together. If I try to give her to someone else or (God forbid) leave the room without her, there is screaming. And there are tears. And it is really unenjoyable for all parties. Thankfully, this does NOT apply to daycare.
- She's our little helper and is always closing doors, bringing us our shoes, fetching needed items for us, and picking up trash. She also sometimes likes to pick things out of the trash, unfortunately… and pick up trash off the floor in public places, which is not so neat.
- She's not necessarily a picky eater, but she can be a pretty finicky eater. In true toddler fashion, she loves a food one day (or one minute) and throws it immediately onto the floor the next. It is really amazing how much more of a mess she makes while eating than Colby does.
- She still naps like a champ. We typically don't hear a peep from her after we put her down and she will nap 2-2.5 hours most of the time.
- And on that note, we have yet to cut the cord with the pacifiers. She only gets them while sleeping and in the car, so I don't feel like she is so dependent on them that we have an "issue" (yet). So for now, this is one battle I'm not picking!
- She is very chatty and will repeat just about anything we ask (or sometimes don't ask) her to say. The other day, I was carrying her to the car and told her she was being a little toot, to which she responded, "Too?"
- As you probably guessed, she is not quite as easygoing as Colby and the list of things that ruffle her feathers is much longer :) Some highlights: having her hair put up, getting her diaper changed, being confined to the playroom... generally not having what she wants the exact way she wants at the exact time she wants!
- She is the most dependent little independent person there is. She prefers walking to being carried and always wants to sit in big chairs when she has access to them. She loves to feed herself and just generally does things on her terms, but she is quick to remind us when she needs our help or just wants us to pay attention to whatever she is doing.
- Even though she can be a little toot, she also has a sweet side. She loves to take things to Colby that he likes, she will kiss your boo-boo if you ask her to, and she's very snuggly when she wants to be.
These next two pictures make me laugh because they give you an idea of just how difficult it was to get pictures of her… it was much like photographing Big Foot!
And now for a few pictures of the dynamic duo together...
This outtake was too special not to share.
Yep, that's about right.
More animal crackers, please!
I'll have to retake this one when they're 15 ;)
Happy 18 months, Colby and Clara- thanks for keeping us on our toes and making us smile!